60-second interview: Jonathan Giles, managing director, Rathbones
Jonathan Giles is managing director of Rathbone Investment Management International. Marcela Kunova caught up with him to talk about his work, industry trends, and surviving a business trip in South Africa.
Tell me about your role.
I’ve dual responsibilities covering both the portfolio management of a number of significant clients and charities and the overall Jersey investment business.
How did it feel to win the Outstanding Individual of the Year award?
I’ve been quoted as saying I was surprised. On reflection that’s about right; a mix of personal surprise and delight. I’m simply the sum of the parts so a big thank you to the wider team at Rathbones.
What are the main challenges your clients are facing?
Private clients remain focused on the generation of real returns and income growth in a rather complicated world. QE has for example pushed valuations of historically lower risk assets towards perfection, leaving clients to take increased capital risk to target their objectives. Clients are challenged by this conundrum and are having to review their risk appetite and investment horizon in this new landscape. With geopolitical uncertainty set to continue, they are asking what price to pay for risk management.
Tell me about an achievement you are most proud of?
Of course, this award is high up on my list but many years ago I survived a three-week business trip to South Africa, which today would undoubtedly be stopped on health and safety grounds. Anyway, it motivated me to get married.
What trends do you see?
Two obvious trends are increasing scrutiny and client size. As the wealth management sector grows we continue to see more regulatory review and this should comfort clients and allow professional advisors to work more effectively. Reflecting on the past decade the average client size has risen significantly and they are demanding both greater transparency and joined-up advice across a range of assets and providers. Private office styled services, which used to only be the preserve of the truly wealthy, are now increasingly sought. The recent launch of the Rathbone Private Office reflects our strong belief in this area.
What do you do to unwind?
In no particular order, my spare time is filled with family, dog walks, a school governorship, watching sport and the occasional glass of wine.